But there’s a difference between an ID for work and an ID requirement at the polls. Easy-swipe access to the office doesn’t affect the “privileges or immunities of citizens.” Access to the vote does. The anti-ID coalition in Pennsylvania—the local NAACP, the League of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia—has been calling witnesses who can’t get IDs for picayune reasons or witnesses who can prove the state is making people pay $13.50 for ID cards when those cards should be free. During the hearings, the lawyers not currently arguing the case sit in benches behind the counsel’s table and pass notes to ensure that nothing goes unasked.
The government’s witnesses and attorneys don’t have armadas behind them. Not in the courtroom, anyway. Instead, they gamely argue the facts of the law then get trapped in logic holes, as presiding Judge Robert Simpson looks on, poker-faced. On Monday, the petitioners managed to drag David Burgess, deputy secretary for planning and service delivery, into a discussion of mismatched state voter databases. Attorney Marian Schneider got Burgess to count up all of the discrepancies, voter by voter, without context.
“Adding these three numbers together,” she said, “the 758,000 that you publicly disclosed don’t match, plus the 130,000 that did not actually match, plus the 574,000 whose ID is expired and won’t be valid for voting today—adding all three of those together equals 1,463,758?”
“That’s correct,” said Burgess.
“So your analysis shows that there’s 1,463,758 voters who don’t have an ID that is valid for voting, is that right?”